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Tuesday, 23 January 2007

How To Capture Audio/Video Content From A Console

I posted this on my Uni's website and thought it was worth posting here as well.

This howto concentrates on doing this with an xbox 360 using a composite connection. It can also be done with a S-Video connection but won't be covered.


Step 1: You will need to have a video capture card or a graphics card with a built in VIVO (Video-In Video Out) system or a similar system. My graphics card (GeForce 4 4200) has a built in VIVO connection and came with a cable which allows the connection of a composite video connection (The yellow connector in the left picture above) or a S-Video connection (Pictured on the right). I've seen other graphics cards just come with a Composite Video-In connection, this will work just the same.

Step 2: The VIVO system does not handle sound and neither will any graphics cards. The other two connectors on the composite connection (red and white connections above) are the left and right audio. You will need a cable which takes two composite connections and turns them into a stereo jack. These can be bought from Maplin or can be made using old headphones and speakers.This stereo jack is then plugged into your microphone socket or line-in on your sound card.

Step 3: Ensure you have all the correct drivers installed for your capture system. The best way to check is to load up Windows Movie Maker and goto File --> Capture Video. If the device is properly installed it will appear as an available device. Nvidia with my card required me to download a set of WDM drivers. If nothing has appeared on Windows Movie Maker check out the drivers section on the Nvidia Website. I haven't tried this with an ATI card yet but I assume it will be much the same.

Step 4: If you've managed steps 1-3 then your set to start capturing some footage. Open Windows Movie Maker and goto File --> Capture Video.

You should has something similar to the above screenshot. There are a few things to note here. By default Windows Movie Maker expects a NTSC input. You will need to change this if you bought your console in the UK. Goto Configure --> Camera Settings then set Video Format to PAL-I . Go back to the above window and click Next.

Step 5: The next screen will ask you for a name and location to store the captured content

Step 6: You will now be asked what quality you would like the video. Be careful when selecting what quality you want since selecting a high quality will require more CPU time and memory. If you select too high a quality the resulting captured footage may suffer from frame drops.So it's best to stick with the recommended suggestion.

Step 7: You will now be presented with a window like this:

Notice the black box on the right. Because video capture streams are viewed on an overlay I can't take a screenshot with the standard Print Screen Paint job. When you are ready to start capturing click "Start Capture".

Step 8: When finished click "Stop Capture". You will now have some capture footage of your console.

Here is an example I done:

The example is the post below

Have fun!

Daniel Maclean